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Innovative Approach to Breeding Could Mean Higher Yields and Better Crops

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Albany, California, have found a way to streamline the process that scientists use to insert multiple genes into a crop plant, developing a reliable method that will make it easier to breed a variety of crops with vastly improved traits. The technology is expected to speed up the process for developing new varieties of potatoes, rice, citrus and other crops that are better equipped to tolerate…

Disease Watch: Potato Early Dying

Potato early dying (PED) is also known as early die and early maturity wilt. This disease is endemic in many fields with a long history of potato production. There is increased pressure on Canadian processing potato production to increase productivity to remain competitive in regional and global markets. PED is a major yield-limiting factor in all major potato production areas of Canada. PED results in premature vine senescence and can limit potato…

Mustering Mustard for Potato Productivity

A recent study by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientist Dr. Bernie Zebarth, together with McCain Foods Canada agronomists and the PEI Potato Board, identified potato early dying complex (PED) and degraded soil health as the two most important factors limiting potato production in the Maritimes. So says Dr. Dahu Chen, a plant pathologist at AAFC’s Fredericton Research and Development Centre. This double threat has prompted Chen and his colleagues at AAFC…

Pocket Diagnostic Expands In U.S. Market

Pocket Diagnostic announced the addition of another distributor of their plant disease rapid tests in the U.S. Pocket Diagnostic produces in-field results in a matter of minutes, which enables advisors, inspectors and growers alike to confirm the presence of a plant pathogen quickly, meaning the necessary protocol for dealing with a plant disease can begin faster than if a sample was sent to a lab for analysis. “We are pleased to add…

New, Emerging Clones of Phytophthora Infestans in Europe

Over the last five years, EuroBlight has undertaken and coordinated an extensive survey of European populations of the late blight pathogen, P. infestans. The most recent data from the EuroBlight monitoring initiative highlighted the emergence of three new clonal lineages, named EU_36_A2, EU_37_A2 and EU_41_A2, in different parts of Europe. As ever, this raises the question of the epidemic potential of these newcomers, and of their impact on late blight management strategies. Are those…

Do Some Potato Growing Soils Suppress Powdery Scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. Photo 1. Powdery scab can severely reduce the quality and marketability of seed, fresh market…

An environmentally friendly solution to potato early dying complex

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers in Fredericton are exploring environmentally friendly solutions to manage Potato Early Dying complex (PED), a disease that is limiting yields in many potato fields in Eastern Canada. PED is a disease complex caused by a combination of a fungal disease (Verticillium wilt) and root-lesion nematodes. With few available treatments, a process called biofumigation is being used by some growers to manage PED.  The process involves tilling…

Potato blight trends in Europe

Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, remains the major threat to potato crops in Europe, and a main reason for pesticide use. EuroBlight is a European network of scientists and other specialists working on potato early and late blight. The EuroBlight project is examining the ongoing evolution of the potato late blight pathogen (Phytophthora infestans). In 2017, almost 1500 samples from 16 countries in Europe were genotyped. The results indicate that new…

Registration granted for a potato seed treatment to help manage pink rot

Syngenta Canada Inc. announces the registration of Revus fungicide as a potato seed treatment for the suppression of pink rot and control of seed-borne late blight in potatoes. Pink rot is a soil-borne disease caused by the pathogen Phytophthora erythroseptica that thrives in wet, poorly drained soils. Infection typically takes place pre-harvest, as the pathogen enters tubers through the stem end and lenticels. Tubers infected with pink rot will often decay during harvest and…

Georgia Bans Import of Potatoes from Turkey

Georgia’s Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture stated that they have banned potato imports from Turkey until July 2018 to eliminate the spread of “potato cancer” on Georgian territory. The relevant decree was signed by the Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvli. The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili, stated that prohibition of potato imports from Turkey for several months is a temporary sanitary measure. “This is a sanitary…

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